2019 Caring Hearts Luncheon
Thank you to all that attended and participated in our Caring Hearts luncheon benefiting our Mothers and Infants program! It was a great success exceeding all expectations.
We look forward to seeing you again next year as we celebrate our 25th year of service with this program.
Through its inception this program has seen the drug/alcohol free delivery of over 450 beautiful babies.
Community Impact of the Program
The National Institute of Drug Abuse states that the cost to society of one drug exposed baby is $750,000 by the age of 18. 100% of the babies born within this program have been drug free. This represents a savings of $300,000,000 to our community over the last 22 years, greater than a 3000% return on investment on the state funding received to date. The Drug Free Babies program provides tools these moms need to stay drug free and in turn, their babies are born drug free, increasing the return on investment as the program treats both the mom and the baby.
Our Drug Free Babies Program is housed in our Special Services Center at 1726 18th Street, in Sarasota and is a 17-bed residential program.
In 1995 First Step began receiving funding for the Drug Free Babies Program from the Florida Legislature through the Florida Department of Children and Families.
The Drug Free Babies Program is a substance abuse treatment program for pregnant and post-partum women and their infants.
Utilizing evidence-based clinical practices to address substance abuse, mental health, gender-specific, and trauma-related issues is at the core of the program. After birth, the infant remains with the mother while she is in treatment, with an average stay of 4 to 6 months. An emphasis is placed on prenatal care, parenting skills, relapse prevention, smoking cessation, life management skills and family reunification. The mothers are also required to pursue vocational training and/or GED preparation if appropriate increasing their opportunities for financial stability.
Women admitted to the program are addicted to opiates, benzodiazepines, alcohol, cocaine, and many times, a combination of these drugs. They have experienced physical, sexual, and emotional trauma, and have turned to drugs to cope. The Drug Free Babies program has developed a strong system of care for these women and infants, by collaborating with many community partners to provide comprehensive services.